Being in a car accident is far from where anyone wants to be, but if this is your first, here is everything you need to know about what to do next.
Every year in the United States, there are more than six million accidents on the road. These involve and affect all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, and result in nearly 40,000 fatalities.
But even if you are lucky enough to survive a car accident, it can have a huge impact on your life. In fact, 4.4 million people suffer serious, non-fatal injuries as a result of car accidents each year. These may affect your ability to work, your long-term health, and your emotional well-being.
Fortunately, help is at hand. If you have been involved in a car accident, compensation can provide relief while you recover and will help you get back on your feet.
Want to know more? Then you’re in the right place! Read on to find out what to do after a car accident to recover both physically and financially.
Seek Medical Attention
The most important thing to do after an automobile accident is to get proper medical attention immediately. You should do this even if you feel alright after your accident and have no obvious injuries.
Some serious internal injuries can take a while to present symptoms and can escalate very quickly. So head straight to your nearest emergency room for a proper examination.
It is also important to get any new symptoms examined once you have been discharged. It may be that they took longer than expected to present themselves, and ignoring a symptom could mean your injuries get much worse.
Your doctor will recommend a treatment plan for your injuries, and they will also provide a note if you need to take time off work.
When being examined, it’s a good idea to take your own photos of your injuries so that you have a copy of these. If you have a friend with you, ask them to make a note of any treatment you receive in the hospital. This leads us neatly onto our next point.
Ask for Help
Recovering from a car accident can be extremely challenging, physically, emotionally, and mentally. This is why it is important that you reach out for support during this time.
You might need help getting around or doing your shopping. Or you may just want some company if you are bedbound. Whatever you need, reaching out to friends and family and make you feel less alone.
They may also be able to help you find local support initiatives to help you out. For example, some community programs can provide transport assistance or emotional support groups.
The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to do everything yourself. If help is at hand, take it. It will mean you can save your energy and focus on recovering.
Document the Accident
Often during an auto accident, things happen too quickly for you to fully understand what is going on. This is why it’s important to get a full picture once you’re recovering.
You should keep a record of your accident in order to claim compensation. There are various places that you can look for evidence of what happened during your accident. These include:
- Photos or video footage of your accident
- Eye witness accounts of what happened
- Police reports and evidence from the accident
- Medical reports from your doctor
It’s always a good idea to get help doing this as some evidence might be traumatic to look at. Once you have found evidence, make your own copy of it where possible, and keep this safe.
Keep Your Medical Records Up-to-Date
Your medical records also provide an important account of what happened during and after your accident. This is why you should keep a copy of these up-to-date.
As well as taking photos of your injuries, you should hold onto:
- A copy of your medical record
- Information on any tests and their results
- Your prescribed treatment plans and any adjustments your doctor makes to this
- Your medical bills
- Any doctor-ordered time taken off work
It’s also a good idea to keep a symptom diary after your accident. This works as an account of how things like pain affect your day-to-day life. If you get any unexpected symptoms, you should also discuss these with your doctor as soon as possible.
Make a Note of Your Expenses
Being involved in a car accident can have a financial impact as well as a physical one. This is why getting compensation for your personal injuries can be so helpful!
There are a number of ways that your accident could impact you financially. These include:
- Expenses from medical bills and treatments
- Loss of earnings from time taken off work
- Damage to your property, such as your car being written off in the accident
- Additional expenses during your recovery, such as having to get taxis rather than public transport
It’s important that you keep a note of all of these expenses during your recovery. Your legal team will use these to calculate how much compensation to claim for. They also become valuable evidence to support your compensation claim.
Where possible, keep a copy of your receipts, bills, and invoices during your recovery. These act as hard evidence and are very important.
Speak to Your Boss
If you are working at the time of your accident, it’s important that you keep your boss in the loop about your injuries. Even if you do not have to take time off work, they may affect your ability to perform certain tasks.
Your boss also has a responsibility to accommodate your recovery in the workplace. However, they can only do this if you tell them about your accident. On top of this, if your symptoms do worsen while you’re at work, they will be able to understand this better.
This means that you will be able to stay safe when you do go back to work after your accident.
Get in Touch With a Car Accident Attorney
We’ve mentioned getting compensation for your accident, and this is where an auto injury attorney comes in. These lawyers specialize in auto and personal injuries. They will be able to take on your case and represent your needs during your claim.
Some of the things they’ll be able to help with include:
- Calculating how much compensation you are owed
- Figuring out who is liable for your car accident
- Filing your claim and negotiating on your behalf
- Collecting evidence for your claim, such as accessing your medical or police records
- Representing you in court if your claim appears before a judge
This all means that you can focus your energy on recovering from your injuries.
If you are short on income during your recovery, a lot of lawyers also offer a no-win, no-fee offer. This means that you only need to pay them once you have won the case so you won’t end up worse off. If your case does not win, you will not end up out of pocket.
It’s always worth asking about these offers if you are struggling financially.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
It goes without saying that a car accident is a traumatic event, and your recovery can be stressful. This is why it is extremely important to look after your mental health while you are getting back on your feet.
Some psychological injuries from car accidents can also take longer to present themselves. These include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic anxiety. Because of this, it is important to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of these and to get professional help if you need to.
On top of this, if you struggle to get around after your accident, it is easy to become isolated. This can leave you feeling down and even lead to depressive periods.
To combat this, try to set yourself daily and weekly goals. These should be things you enjoy doing, such as visiting a friend or getting out in the garden.
Spending time outside around other people will automatically make you feel more connected to the outside world. So aim to get out once a day even if it is only for ten minutes. This will make a world of difference to your mood.
Get Help After Your Car Accident Today!
Being involved in a car accident is a life-changing experience, and your recovery can be extremely daunting. It is important to remember that, whatever you need, you are not alone.
If you are looking for legal representation for your car accident compensation, get in touch with one of our team today. We are here to help!